It is with great anticipation that we look forward to what the year ahead will unveil, in our efforts to make a positive contribution to the community at Thekwane, as we work together to promote the high standards and work ethics that were so much a part of our tutelage at Thekwane.

I challenge you to trudge through with patience and perseverance in your everyday endeavours and also pray that we will exhibit the same spirit in our enthusiasm to help raise funds for the school.

This is an appeal to all those who walked the corridors of Thekwane, the Jacaranda tree lined avenue, and relaxed at a “Jive Session” in Beit Hall. We need your support. The challenges are many. Water is still a big problem at the school, the buildings need to be renovated, and the library replenished with new reading material and the students need textbooks. God has put you where you are to be the link to any of those resources. Help us make contact with organizations that can help, individuals who can donate their funds or services to the school, and together we can make the difference.

We now have registered branches in Zimbabwe (Bulawayo and Harare), U.K, and South Africa. The U.K. branch is registered as a charity organization and can receive funds sent through PayPal or Just Giving. I send my subscriptions to the U.K. branch since there is no branch in Japan. Do not let location limit your actions and commitment, as you can easily pay your subscriptions to any of the existing branches. Where possible, establish a local branch in your neighbourhood and have some fun get together fundraising activities.

We applaud Robson Ngungu and Thoko Mkwananzi for their initiative to establish a branch in the USA. The branch is meant to serve the USA and Canada. Those with ex-Thekwane relatives, friends and contacts, please email Thoko at mamkwa@hotmail.com and Robson at robngungu@yahoo.com. This will assist them in their efforts of communicating with as many people as possible.

Finally, we are also appealing to those who graduated in the later years to be involved. We need to pass the torch to the younger generation.

Sazi Mhlanga,Global Chairman, Aggrey House, 1967 ~1972, 1976

TAA UK:

The beginning of 2013 saw the school awaiting delivery of the inverters which we had purchased form a local company, Solahart Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited, in November 2012. Negotiations, co-ordination and logistics were all done by TAA Harare. After some delay, the back-up system was finally delivered and successfully installed sometime in May. A sense of elation for achieving this milestone, allowed the TAA to temporarily modify the school’s emblem “Qondanini ekukhanyeni” to “Balanini ekukhanyeni”. This prompted Rev Chibuda to send the following email

The Principal, Head, S.D.C. and the B.O.G. of Thekwane High School acknowledges with great appreciation and gratefulness the Back-up system of (5) five sets of transformers from Thekwane Alumni Association. The back-up system has been successfully installed in five (5) classroom blocks and thus covering (19) nineteen class-rooms. This means that all our classrooms except the practical rooms have been covered. As a school we will make sure that the equipment is kept secure by installing screens in the rooms which accommodate the equipment. We will also make sure that our maintenance staff is developed in how to carry out minor maintenance so that the equipment is in top notch

We really cherish the friendship between TAA and Thekwane High School and we are really proud to have our own people who have Thekwane High School at heart. May our acknowledgement and appreciation be passed on to all members   

 

We received a generous donation of £20,000 from Nina and Ian Graham. Nina expressed a wish that part of that donation goes towards the library. She was the first librarian of the New library while Ian was the English teacher in the 1970s. We salute the Grahams for their generosity and love of Thekwane.

Annual subscriptions of £52 per year have remained the mainstay of fund-raising for TAA. Unfortunately there is only a handful of members who are up to date with their subscriptions. Our ex-teachers have remained committed to supporting our endeavours through subscriptions and donations. The executive is therefore appealling to those members who are behind with their subscriptions to update them as soon as possible.

I quote below an appeal made by our President, Mr J Mellor, to TAA members:

“We are now in the 6th year of TAA being founded, and we have been amazed on the achievements made with a faithful few who have supported in their contributions, by the yearly subscription, donations, fund raising.

“There are much needed water bore holes and repairs to the girls accommodation which is falling to pieces. Just think you have running water every day, you have a roof over your head and you do not even have to go thirsty or be concerned about weather changes or be rained in whilst sleeping in your bed.

“For a subscription of just £5 per month we can meet the needs of the Thekwane students. I don’t know about you, but I would have a sleepless night to know that someone is being rained-in and has nowhere to hide or protect themselves.

“It was all very exciting when we started, and now it has fizzled out, and this again we see is a pattern we can’t get out of as Zimbabweans’. How embarrassing to have people of other nations understand our plight and support us. I had a child give me her pocket money in order to donate to the school. If a child can go without, surely we can. So we hope that there will be a change in 2014 and see more members UK and Overseas supporting the cause.Please go to these websites for further information.”

Subscriptions and donations can be paid directly into the TAA Account with NatWest – Sort Code 60-30-20, Account No. 28162099. Always remember to put your reference, to assist the Treasurer identify the source of funds.

Fund-Raising 

The executive organised a fund-raising function in Kirkcaldy in Scotland. This was a combined function that involved running a Christmas Raffle and Ceilidh dancing. The function was designated Zimbeilidh Night. 30th November – St Andrew’s Day, was deliberately selected to tap into the generosity of the Scots during this celebratory period. Photos below were shot on the Zimbeilidh Night.

A sum total of £2,300 was raised from this event. We are most grateful to the Treasurer, his wife Thembi, their daughter Nompilo, for taking a leading role in organising the event. The executive, as usual also contributed to making the night a success. However, it was disappointing that the UK TAA members, having been advised of the event well in advance, were not in attendance. We hope future events will attract support from all TAA UK members

TAA South Africa

We wish you all a happy and successful 2014. Our performance for 2013 fell short of our expectations. However, we still remain hopeful and focused that 2014 will witness a turnaround situation with some colleagues coming on board to boost our coffers. You will obviously note that there hasn’t been much movement in our income. In-fact, our finances are now static save the minor interests accrued. This is not an acceptable situation. Again, we would like to appeal to your generosity towards boosting TAA Finances. In order to continue making a difference in the lives of our Thekwane students, we appeal to those resident in South Africa, to at least consider a monthly commitment of R100 (Rands) per month, depending on individual circumstances.

Deposits can be made to Tekwane Partnership Account No. 038048280, with Standard Bank, Centurion Branch. TAA South Africa now faces governance issues. We need to convene an AGM to elect the SA Committee members. Unfortunately, Mr. Caleb Pilime (our Treasurer) is now located in the Northern Cape due to work commitments. This leaves Ms Jester Maphisa (Secretary) and Sam Moyo (Chairperson). Hence, TAA South Africa is not in a position to constitute a quorum. We would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by Caleb while he was still in Gauteng Province. His absence remains a challenge for us. We therefore call upon TAA Alumni colleagues in South Africa to respond to our appeal and come forward so that we convene an AGM and elect new members or reaffirm the present office bearers. It is apparent that we now hold these offices by default.

TAA Harare

Membership of TAA Harare continues to be a matter of concern! Although on paper it could be said close to 15-20 people have at some point subscribed to the notion, the actual regular annual subscribers have reduced to about 5 persons! During one meeting when enthusiasm was really high in 2012 the annual subscription was pegged at US$120 per person. Subscriptions and donations can be deposited into the TAA Account, with Kingdom Bank, Borrowdale Branch, Account Number 470 52 777.

Despite these low figures the TAA Harare has served as the conduit for communication between the school and the TAA worldwide fraternity.

It is our fervent hope that our efforts to assist the school in 2014 will continue to improve and our abilities to raise the necessary funds for the numerous projects that have been identified by the school will increase. Realising our inability to raise funds from members to date, we are investigating alternative ways of seeking funding. One such strategy is to explore possibilities with the few donor cooperating partners operating in the country. At the suggestion of some of our members, we are currently pursuing cooperation with the Japanese Embassy for possible funding of water woes at the school. We are using the findings and recommendations of the report produced by Hydro-Utilities Consulting Engineers.

Whilst we realise fundraising continues to pose a challenge, we will endeavour to do our best both from personal commitments and those of any collaborating institutions.

TAA Bulawayo

It was imperative for a Chapter to be started in Bulawayo, as this city is closest to Thekwane High School. This meant that the Bulawayo Chapter would be right at the doorstep of the school as Plumtree is only within 120 kilometres away from Bulawayo. Logistically, Bulawayo Chapter should provide a vital link with Thekwane and all other Chapters. The current Chairman A C Banda is also a member of the School Board.

We had our first Annual General Meeting on the 26th October 2013, at the ZNCC offices in Bulawayo. The attendance was disappointing. The Executive was retained with Vusimuzi Ndlovu replacing Lenin Ndebele as Secretary.

In our first year of operation, the Executive opened a bank account with the Kingdom Bank – Belmont Branch. To make it easier for members, an ECOCASH account 0775835767 was also opened. However, Kingdom Bank charges of US$25 every month were unsustainable, and the Executive decided to withdraw all the funds and close the account in October 2013, a decision fully supported and endorsed by the AGM. At that point, a total of $316.21had been paid in bank charges. The money withdrawn from Kingdom Bank amounting to US$1000.00 was donated to Thekwane High School for any of their urgently needed items. The School has since purchased four microscopes for the Biology Department. Following investigations by the Treasurer, we are pleased to advise that we have now opened a new bank account with NMB bank, Bulawayo Branch, Account No. 210238964, where an organisation such as ours does not pay bank charges. We ask all members to take note of this change and pay into the new account. The ECOCASH account remains unchanged.

We have 17 members who paid subscriptions in the first year. We appeal to those in and around Bulawayo to join us in raising the much needed funds. Our annual subscription is $60.00 per year ($5.00 per month).

Membership 

This is still a sore point, we have not been able to attract the younger generation of the 1980s to 2000, although attempts have been made. UK TAA Chair, Colourgrad Mpoko, signed-up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/209570315724142/ a Thekwane High Facebook site which seems to be popular with this generation. We continue to appeal to new members to register on the taa-2006@googlegroups.com mailing list, or forward your email addresses to makhonya@gmail.com or register online at http://www.thekwanealumniassociation.co.uk/Pages/Registration.aspx. This will ensure that members are able to keep track of events.

‘O’ and ‘A’ Level Results

The ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level results of 2013 were not encouraging although the school authorities felt that it was an improvement over the last few years. Improved resources and facilities will no doubt create an environment conducive to learning, and hopefully lead to better results and a better future for the current students. We were lucky to have enjoyed excellent facilities and resources during our time – resulting in Thekwane being one of top schools in the country. Let us look back and help others experience what we enjoyed.